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Ever since American Express ran the ad, “Don’t leave home without it,” people have come up with all kinds of, “Don’t leave home without it” lists. They include your iPad, cell phone, passports, travel visas, money, in addition to credit cards. The reason for the caution is that you may find yourself away from home without these necessities. Notice how Ezra acted as he was about to lead a group from exile in Babylon to go home. The Persian king, as well as fellow Jews, had donated resources for the trip. We learn in Ezra Chapter 8, that as they gathered to leave, Ezra realized he had no one to help him teach God’s laws or assist in Temple worship. God had originally assigned Levites to teach the Law and assist people in offering sacrifices. David had assigned them to lead singing in worship. Without Levites, Ezra knew their spiritual development would suffer. People would soon lose sight of God and fall back into their old ways. So Ezra refused to leave Babylon until he recruited more teachers, worship leaders, and Temple assistants. Like Ezra, we should value our spiritual growth. Fortunately, we do not need to go through life alone. God offers both Himself, His word, and His people as resources to help us navigate through life.

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